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Ask the Money Doctor – A volunteer panel of qualified CPAs answer questions from consumers regarding their financial planning issues. You can read past Q & As or submit your own question. Part of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website, which has a variety of free tools & info designed “to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life” (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). Consumer.gov [NEW!] provides easy-to-read instructions on the basics of making a budget, opening a bank account, understanding your paycheck, avoiding scams, using debit, prepaid, & phone cards, managing credit & debt, and more (Federal Trade Commission). Smart About Money offers ‘practical articles, worksheets, tips and valuable resources from across the Web to help you understand and manage your money’ (National Endowment for Financial Education; non-profit foundation). See also Money Management Library (2009 – 2014, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco).
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Advice and FAQ about credit cards, mortgages, loans (including student loans), debt collection, and more, plus information about credit discrimination, foreclosure help, and an online complaint form.
Consumer Reports: Money News – Blog posts offering helpful information and tips on personal finance, investment, banking & credit, retirement, and more. See the New England Federal Credit Union‘s Financial Resource Center for more helpful tips & info.
Debt Collection Rights & Responsibilities – The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. This page has some questions and answers about your rights under the Act. See also Dealing with Debt for related information. (2015 – 2016, Federal Trade Commission)
Electronic, Mobile, and Online Banking – Explains how to do your banking electronically. Includes information about mobile wallets, direct depost, and related topics. Part of Federal Reserve Consumer Help [UPDATED LINK!] which offers additional advice on bank accounts & services, consumer credit, mortgages, foreclosure, debt, fraud, and more. (Federal Reserve Board)
Financial Records: How Long to Keep Tax Records and Other Documents – Explains what financial, tax, and other documents you should keep, and how long you should them (2016, Consumer Reports). See also Recordkeeping [NEW!] (2018, Internal Revenue Service) .
Financial Calculators – Should I refinance my mortgage? Rent or buy? How much do I need to save for my child’s college education? How much for retirement? These interactive financial calculators and other tools will help you with some of the day-to-day financial questions and concerns that may arise in your life or business (Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco). See also Practical Money Skills Calculators (Visa, Inc.).
Pinch Pennies in the Right Places – Explains how to save more money by looking at discounts in total dollars saved, not at the percentage of the discount (2016, New York Times). For more practical tips on thrifty living, see Affluenza (PBS).
Retirement Plans – Information to help you choose and set up a retirement plan. Describes different types of retirement plans, including IRAs and IRA-Based Plans, 401(k) & 403(b) Plans, and many others. Includes links to relevant tax forms, publications, and related resources (Internal Revenue Service). The Social Security Retirement Planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law, and points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future. Includes calculators to test out different retirement ages or different future earnings amounts (Social Security Administration).
Student Debt Repayment – Advice on what options you have if you are falling behind on your student loan payments, plus other financial help for students. (CFPB, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
Links updated January 2018.